Nairobi has been selected to host the first Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT) conference that will bring together key players who are instrumental in expanding the space for women enterprises in global markets.
The Conference, themed Bridging the gap; empowering businesses to go global, will he held on October 25th at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi. It is being held for the second time in Africa after Cairo.
The women entrepreneurs, drawn from global OWIT chapters, financial institutions, NGOs and policy makers will create dialogue on core issues that make it difficult for women entrepreneurs to access new opportunities and markets. They will provide suggestions and insights to address these challenges.
The conference will comprise of a capacity-building workshop on the first day, targeting women entrepreneurs who are looking for markets across borders.
Day 2 will comprise of a conference where trade practitioners and policy makers from around the world will discuss best practices for shaping cross-border commerce, share in-sights for what is next for the future of trade and explore the role of women in that future.
“We have selected Nairobi to host this year’s conference because we acknowledge Kenya’s vast potential to engage in global trade,” said Mucha Mlingo, President, OWIT Nairobi Chapter. “As a global organisation solely comprising of women in international trade, we are aware of the challenges that women in global trade have to face. This conference is an opportunity for different actors to come together and find solutions to these challenges while providing a platform to network and interact.”
Mlingo added that this conference is an opportunity for women in Kenya and across the globe to discuss and address and action on the pressing issues that hinder women from participating in global trade.
The conference will precede a capacity-building workshop, hosted by one of the sponsors, Huawei, at the Huawei centre in Lavington. In pursuit of enhancing trade, the capacity building workshop will be fully facilitated by UPS, to a limited number of women who have a product that could be exported. Registration for the CBW is on a first come first serve basis.
Other partners for this conference are Thomson Reuters and Safaricom.
The conference is structured to address the challenges that hinder upscaling to the global trade arena, key among them;
- Lack of credit
- Access to trade-related information
- Limited capacity in terms of knowledge and skills
- Limited participation and representation in trade policy-related positions.
There is a need for more women need to participate in international trade. It is only through better policies and processes that more women will venture into the lucrative opportunities that global trade offers. OWIT’s objective is to ensure that the market is open to more women traders, concluded Mlingo.